I have recently gotten hooked on the TV series starring the “little Belgian detective” Hercule Poirot, played by David Suchet. It was a long running series in the UK that eventually made it to the US, and is loved by millions. Surprisingly, I have not read a single Agatha Christie book, even though I love detective stories, particularly those written by British authors. It’s unusual for me to love the movie before the book, but there is a first for everything.
While the stories themselves are masterfully written, what has attracted me the most is the person of Poirot. David Suchet brilliantly portrays a character that captures the heart and mind, consistently, episode after episode. Whether or not you find Poirot endearing or irritating at any one moment, you will always find him being himself. That is what captivated me the most.
In recent months I have been pondering my craving for congruence. I think it has been a deep driving force behind much of my healing journey. And when I see a glimpse of it in some facet of life around me, my spirit thrills. In the character of Poirot, David Suchet achieves congruence in human form – one of the magical effects of the creative arts. We can achieve something that is so hard to attain in real life. Purity of expression. And even in the creative arts, it is rare to see it done so well and for so many years.
But the other day I was faced again with the limitations of our humanity. Some of the later shows are darker than the earlier versions, particularly their rendition of “Murder on the Orient Express”. It was like a dash of cold water in the face. The level at which I had to remind myself that it is all just a story serves to emphasize the depth at which I, and many others I am quite sure, long for eternal consistency.
I was lying in bed this morning, thinking about all of these things, when my thoughts turned to Jesus Christ. I know that He was sinless and perfect. But what did that really mean to me? Up until the moment, it mostly meant that He never did a moral wrong. He was tested, but never failed. But in the context of the things I was pondering, the picture expanded into a realm I had not fully comprehended. Jesus was not only sinless, He was infinitely, perfectly, utterly congruent, throughout His entire lifetime.
While we, as His followers, may endeavor to live righteously, our existence is perpetually clouded by some pain, some dark secret, some unholy alliance between ourselves and the darkness. We don’t process our pain well and it leaves a stain behind. We are unbelieving and unfaithful. Lies live quietly inside of us, distorting our visage. We may not be doing moral wrong, but we aren’t pure. Our essence shines forth in rays of blinding light from time to time. Jesus was the Light, all the time.
We have to accept the reality of our own fallen nature, though there is a part of me that will always grieve the letdown. In the real world outside of beloved fictional characters, the tendency to emulate has been a dangerous one. But now, I see it through a different lens. I can celebrate the clearing of the clouds when it happens in the human realm around me, and even, in myself. But my ultimate joy is in the only human who has ever walked and ever will walk this earth in complete congruence, the Son of God.